Questions

The suggested answers provided to all questions below are based on and in harmony with the views of the original Watchtower Bible and Tract Society when under the guidance of Pastor Charles Taze Russell.  Comments will often include a link to Pastor Russell’s own explanation.  However, in any case, we leave your conclusions to your own personal study, prayer, conscience and the influence of the Holy Spirit.

813 comments to Questions

  • Hello Dupin,

    Enjoyed your posts. I’m curious, where have I seen you before? Channel C perhaps?

    Dennis

    • Dupin

      No,

      I’ve never been invited to Channel-C, though I’ve heard of it. If you’ve ever been to the Bible Student’s forum run by RR, then you would have run into me under several names over the years. Dupin is my current name there and I decided to go from Dragonslayer to it the last Time RR rebooted the forum. Although I’ve been on a few other forums under different names, RR’s has really been my home so to speak.

  • neda

    hey jackie …. its been a min since ive ben here and im regret that but ive had a lot to deal wit since i have had my awaken ….. my life changed so much wen the memories came floodin back i had a mental setback in my life …. i almost relapse and turned to drugs to hide from all the pain ….. wen all the memories came floodin back i realized that in the beginnin of my young life i was never young i was robbed of my childhood …. i never was a child …. i realized that was y i was always behind the time wit my peers….. anyone that is goin thru wat i went thru and didnt have support and is still copin and pressin on let me know cuz even though im strong im still weak and need a helping hand every now and then ….. i can give them the strength to forge on as well as they can give me the strength to keep lettin my voice b heard ….. blessings to all….

    • Jubal

      Hi Neda….First of all I want tell you that I really have empathy for what you’re going thru. Have you ever got professional counseling? Sometimes that’s what needed when you’re going thru those changes. I want to tell you that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
      Concerning Jacqueline, She’s on the road driving from Alabama to Indianapolis and can’t reply to you right away. She told me to tell you that she will answer you tomorrow…God bless…..

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Neda, sorry to take so long I’m on the road. I would like to suggest you go to your counselor and tell her how you are feeling. Also you may call me. Since I know your story from having personally dealt with it as it unfolded, I think the shirking of responsibility by your District overseer father and mother and not confronting the different elders and brothers that molested you, is adding to the distress. I asked about one of them while I was visiting AL. He and wife have moved to Louisiana. He was a pedophile when I was a child, although 6 yrs older than me. This plus the real physical and mental pain can be too much sometimes. Maybe others reading will comment to you. The Australia. brothers hopefully will see your post, they are so helpful. I will talk to you as I think spiritual association with others will help. With the Br. Peter’s support I would like for you to come in on an adobe connect by computer, Sat., Nov. 12th. Br DavidSstine will discuss Armageddon and what the BIble really says and we will have a study and a few other talks. You can see the convention and we can welcome you by typing. It can lift your spirit to interact. I will talk to you more by phone however and let the other brothers chime in to give support. You know Chinita this new technology should be used to stay close and build each other up. It is a more effective way to reach many, including social networks. I would hate for Armageddon or any danger to be inpending and the least effect means be used to alert everyone. Tonight we have the study on vol one on Skype. If you need me to help you set it up I will. Call me please when you get off work. I no longer have your new number. Love and kisses. Jacqueline
      PS: You atr making changes in your life and that can be challenging because feelings are the last to change. When they do however, it generally is longlasting. And now you have friends that are listening and you have your voice back, HURRAY!!!!

    • Dupin

      Dear Neda:

      Knowing no more than what I see in your post and what the others have said about your situation I almost didn’t reply. However, I can’t just walk away from somebody with such pain, especially since I’m very close to somebody who lived through a situation much like what your appears to be. It hurts, and I’ve seen what it can do to the sufferer in the long term. without help one in such a position will implode inwards and descend into self-destructive behavior. At the least they can find themselves unable to fully trust or commit to a relationship with a truly loving mate, and that has its own consequences, some of which aren’t all that good.

      Although I do believe with all my heart that throwing it all on God to help you carry your burden is the best possible answer, I don’t think you would see that as anything other then trite given that men who would so cavalierly toss out that particular piece of advice betrayed your trust in such a heinous way.

      For that reason I find myself doubly supporting the advise you’ve been given to seek professional help and counseling. I and my siblings were abused as children by a mentally ill mother while our dad looked the other way and even wrote to an uncle that he considered us kids every bit as twisted as our mother. While still a Witness I went to a psychiatrist for treatment for what I went through.

      Believe me it helped because I was fortunate to find a really insightful man who recognized what I really needed and do it. I hope you find as good a counselor.

      Dupin

    • Dupin

      Neda:

      I read through the thread Jacqueline linked and got your story. That you started getting the story out in the open here was a positive thing, even if you don’t really think so. Before I go on I’m going through a medical test at the moment which has some bad effects on me, at least it did in the past and yesterday, so if this pos stops making any sense please bear with me, i will get back to it later if need be.

      Lets explore the venting first. I had my own issues when I left the Witnesses siome years ago and did my share of venting on another forum, where the brethren were amazingly supportive and patient. Since a good many of them were ex-Witnesses, they knew the score like Jacqueline does. They realized for all that it is so ugly, it has to come out. Since Jehovah’s witnesses do have a somewhat warped view of God, one more akin to the pilgrim’s sect, the “angry god” theme, they, and I at the time, just don’t have the understanding of our loving God needed for placing it in his hands to fully work.

      Hence, venting with folks who do have that understanding and the love and patience it engenders gets the poison out to a large extent so the healing can begin and maximize itself as their attitude moves us to look into and gain that understanding for our selves. That is the insight gained from my anecdotal experience. I’m a disabled medical professional, so I can tell you that they try to set up s similar situation, one where you can vent and get the poison out of the wound, and it does work after a fashion, hence my supporting the advise you’re getting.

      But it isn’t the whole picture, as any wise counselor knows. We aren’t one-sided creatures, as science with it’s materialistic focus would have us think. We are multi-faceted, like a jewel, and that means we have a spiritual side as well, one which was seriously damaged in your case as those you trusted that side of your nature to failed you miserably.

      Since self-revelation is the order of the day let me do a little more soul-bearing here. i suffer from a very debilitating disease, both physically and socially called Cushing’s Syndrome. Look it up some time. My mother suffered from it as well ans so far another sibling does as well. In mom’s case it brought out a predilection for Paranoid schizophrenia, the disease so famously popularized by the book “When Rabbit Screams,” the crimes of the “Vampire” serial killer in LA in the 70s, and another book whose title i can’t remember at the moment.

      although our abuse wasn’t sexual, it was at time physical and mostly mental and emotional since mom, like many schizophrenics, was a master manipulator in an evil way. among other things she turned us kids against each other so thoroughly that we are unable to function normally as family. She isolated us socially as much as she could and all of us are socially dysfunctional in some way or another. With the added burden for at least two of us of having the same cursed disease as our mother, the rarest manifestation of one of the rarest diseases out there, and life isn’t the easiest thing imaginable. I thank God every day mom’s mental predilections have not manifested themselves in my life, though you can imagine at times as a Witness i found myself questioning whether they were or not.

      So, Neda, I speak from experience when I recommend what i do in both areas of your life. My insurance wouldn’t pay for the most appropriate counseling, but I did find a Psychiatrist with an unusual insight who knew how to make the most of the few opportunities and little time he had. I’m thankful I was led to him. sure, it certainly didn’t cure everything, no counseling can. But it did set me onto the right path towards self-examination t=and thinking.

      Getting with other suffers with my disease helped as well. I still receive very unpleasant societal reactions to the most obvious symptom of my endocrine disease, massive obesity. Even doctors who should know better give into the impulse to condemn the symptom and deny its true cause. Support from those who suffer from it and know the score is a source I never overlook, they came into my life while I was still a JW and was JW leaders who were being abusive.

      Yet, it was the wonderful vision of a long-dead Pastor as to the nature of God which has been of the best help in the end. By no means do I expect you to take my word at face value and run out and get a copy of the Divine Plan of The Ages.

      I knew when I left the witnesses where I was going to go, what some call “JW-lite,” But only if I saw that what their understanding of God in their lives was something I wanted, or they really were JW-lite. That’s why I joined a forum where they sometimes get on each others nerves, that was the best way to see for real the effect of people’s beliefs in their lives.

      You see, I was burned before and I had absolutely no intention to commit myself only to be burned again. it’s one thing to take more than one to the jaw for Jehovah, the witnesses never killed my faith in him after I found it even though I didn’t have the complete picture of his love I really needed. I was, and never stopped being, his, completely totally. But I was also willing to go it alone if I couldn’t find the sort of believers who had at least as much of the vision I’d already come to see through my own study of his word independently.

      That’s why I’m where I’m, at spiritually right now.

      As Jacqueline mentioned in an earlier post, you have amazing accomplishments already, you’ve come a long way. But you still have a way to go and we are firmly on your side here, and not just the spiritual side as Jacqueline has already shown.

      Think about it. Tell me to take a hike if that’s what you want to do. I’ll understand. I’m not a woman, my abuse wasn’t rape. I can never fully understand what YOU feel for both reasons. I can only speak to what I’ve seen in the lives of rape girls and women and how it has effected their lives. But i have been abused, both by a parent, and by a religious organization. although it wasn’t you parent who abused you, we do have those two experiences in common even though they differ in the details. And I’m willing to be helpful on that basis. if you will permit.

  • Dupin

    You’re welcome David.

    I was tipped to this discussion because I’m an ex-JW as well and it was thought by the person who told me of it I might be able to explain the issues better for folks on both ends.

    What is really nice about this site is that it was apparently started By Bible Students with no experience with the Organization and just a love for what they saw as the abused JW flock. So they reached out and trusted to God to supply the need. Before God brought an ex-Jw or two, such as Jacqueline, their way the only thing these wonderful brethren these brethren didn’t have much to go on where it come to how JWs see things. That sometimes makes for misunderstandings of what is meant on both sides of the fence so to speak.

    I’m just happy to be helpful in some small way. Since you wrote I was, then I’m smiling 😉 I’ll try and keep an eye out for you and if it looks like I can help, I’ll see if I can. My best to you.

  • David Lawrence

    Thank you vert much! It does help! I know the Dawn Bible Students obvserve Christmas,and we,as Bible Students are free in Christ.However,this has been a difficult thing for me because as a JW,the holidays were shunned.Thank you again!

  • Dupin

    That now brings us to the other side of the problem.

    Br. David, I don’t know the Dawn brethren all that well, just a bit about where they stand in the history of the movement. The Dawn historically were among the last of the Brethren to leave the Watchtower before Judge Rutherford created the Jehovah’s witnesses out of what was left to him after he changed so many teachings. Although they sought to return to the beginning they retained some of those changes among themselves. To what extent they retained Rutherford’s teachings and still do is something I’m not familiar with. I do understand, and recently had a taste of it at a convention, that they don’t quite follow Russell all that closely either. Certain Dawn brethren have caused quite a controversy and stir among their more conservative brethren lately.

    Russell taught that the cleansing of the temple, the bride of Christ occurred during the Second Advent movement pioneered by William miller in the late 1830s and early 1840s. I’m familiar with the movement because I did a paper on them in college. What it amounts to is that the movement awakened people, including the consecrated that were among the churches, and moved many to a fresh study of God’s word. That led to a clearer understanding of god’s word and prophecies which inspired men like George Storrs to begin publishing based on that increasing understanding. It cleared away the ignorance encouraged by the Catholic and other mainstream churches as to the nature of God’s kingdom and the prophecies which bore on it and paved the way for Pastor Russell’s own work, which was to bring the teachings of truth together under one roof, so to speak, and proclaim Jesus’ presence and future fall of this system.

    The Pagan influence from which the temple was cleansed was the God dishonoring teachings promoted by Christendom, not the customs which had some pagan linkage. The teachings were the most important problem, they stood between the bride class and God and they had to go. Thus, the counterfeit kingdom of the Roman Church and its preterist teachings were discarded. Bits and pieces of other truths, such as the true nature of God, were understood and those genuinely consecrated by God Began rejecting those old pagan dogmas and looking for the truth, which God would start providing through the work of the Pastor.

    In short, it wasn’t the observance of days which made the Bride dirty, it was the beliefs which had been forced on her by the man of sin and from which she had not been able to free herself before the fall of that one in1799. Those were what she was cleansed of.

    As for the days mentioned earlier, those were the observances of the Jews. Remember, the first real falling away from the pure teaching of our Lord was the insistence that the Gentiles had to become circumcised and observe the law of Moses, including it’s special holidays. We have a record of that in the fifteenth chapter of Acts and how it was dealt with at the time. Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of the matter and Paul spent a good bit of his time and pen fighting those teachings right to the end. And there are still folks today in Christendom who believe Christians must observe the Law of Moses, because early Jewish Christians did for many years.

    I hope this has been of help for folks all the way around. I also hope it Is a blessing for you as well and what folks needed.

  • Dupin

    Greetings everyone:

    This exchange on holidays was mentioned to me and I thought I would drop in on the discussion. The person who mentioned it to me felt there was a little bit of miscommunication going on because bible Students without a background among the Jehovah’s Witnesses often don’t really know where the witnesses and ex-JWs are coming from, how they’ve been taught by the Society to see history and other things. For the benefit of the Bible Students here please let me explain the problem in terms I hope you’ll understand first.

    The Organization, that was the moniker for the JW organization among the Witnesses the last time I checked, publishes and teaches about the history of the Witnesses, from the claimed founding of them by the Pastor forward. Several of the more important teachings about both the history and explanation of certain prophecies is that Jesus became present in 1914. Of course I’m sure the Bible Students are already aware of that.

    However, what you may not be aware of is that the temple started being cleansed after Jesus became present instead of before, as Russell taught. The Watchtower teaches that God inspected the temple Or Christendom as a whole, and found only those Bible Students still in association with the Watchtower Society faithfully doing God’s work and seeking to teach correct teachings. They, thus, were approved by God, who proceeded to begin cleansing them of “pagan” teachings and customs. We were taught that celebrating holidays as well as birthdays were a part of those “pagan” influences which dirtied up the brethren and had to go. Witnesses are taught to this day that such customs have God’s disapproval and joining in the celebration of them is an act of disloyalty to God. A Witness caught doing so can be disfellowshipped for doing so or at least they could back when I was last a part of the Witness fold in 2004.

  • jacqueline

    David, freedom to make choices of this nature has been denied us. Jehovah celebrated the birth of his son with angels singing, and invited people to go see him. His star was seen by highly esteemed astronomers and they brought enough presents to see Mary, Joseph and Jesus through their flight to Egypt. I am traveling and only have a Droid with internet.Joanna out it very clearly from the bible. I never really bought the no birthday explanation. But since everyone has one outlawing it can control all WITNESSES. WHY ISN’T THE WEDDING BAND OUTLAWED? NOT EVERYONE WILL WEAR ONE, SO YOU ONLY CONTROL A FEW.

  • David Lawrence

    Hi,I’m a Dawn Bible Student.I have known the Truth,4 yrs,as of Oct 15/11.I still have trouble with the holidays,if these have pagan origins,and we are to separated from the world,should we not avoid these holidays?Could somebody plese help me clear up this confusion please?(There is no Class in my area)

    • Joanna

      Hi David,

      Thanks for asking this. The early church had the same question, and I appreciate Paul’s answer. He said in Romans 14:5, “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”

      Reading the context bears out that Paul is saying this is an individual matter that we are not to judge each other on. We have liberty to celebrate holidays (in the context, he is talking about Jewish holidays, and eating unclean meat), and we have the liberty to not celebrate them. If it will stumble a brother to celebrate, we also have the liberty to give up our right to do so for that person’s sake.

      So, it is up to you if you celebrate holidays, as long as you are celebrating it to the Lord (vs. 6).

      May the Lord bless you as you continue to honor Him with whatever you choose to do in this matter.
      🙂

  • Kris K. (admin)

    Witaj Janku
    Po kliknięciu na link z polską flagą pojawi się komunikat, że trzeba czekać na tłumaczenie google’a i po chwili powinno się ono pojawić.
    Bezpośredni adres strony z tłumaczeniem polskim to http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=en&tl=pl&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com%2Fquestions%2F

    (After clicking on the flag you should see a message that the page is being translated and then you will be redirected to that page. The direct link for the Polish translation is http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=en&tl=pl&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com%2Fquestions%2F)

  • Jan

    why is not polish translation this page

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>